KIA NBA MVP Race: Big Men Leading The Way.
Written by: Andrew Felton
With the All-Star weekend over, everyone's thoughts turn back to the league and reaching playoffs. With so many stars balling out this season the NBA MVP award is hotting up and closer than ever, not including the usual names, with players like Kevin Durant, LeBron James and James Harden (mainly due to injury) not in the running. This award is once again being dominated by the big men, as the last three seasons has seen Jokic and Giannis take the crown.
5. Stephen Curry, (Golden State Warriors)
(Image by: Kyle Terada / USA Today)
Coming off one of the best individual displays in the All-Star game, dropping 50 points including a record breaking 16 three pointers, Stephen Curry is having another season to remember. Already becoming the NBA leading scorer of three pointers, overtaking Ray Allen, Curry has helped the Warriors into the second seed of the Western Conference, with a record of 42-17. Currently averaging 25.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 6.3 apg, Steph could be an outsider to land the MVP award.
4. Chris Paul, (Phoenix Suns)
Chris Paul holds the fourth spot, thanks to his contributions for the Suns so far this season. Currently averaging 14.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 10.7 apg, Paul has registered 31 double-doubles this season and 13 in his last 16 games. Paul is also third on the list in steals this season averaging 1.9 per game, however has recently suffered a right thumb injury, causing him to miss 6-8 weeks, which is most of the remaining regular season, that will slowly take him out of contention for this MVP award.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, (Milwaukee Bucks)
Two time league MVP and current NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo enters this list at number three. Giannis has score 25+ points in his last 22 of 23 games and averaging 29.4 ppg, 11.2 rpg and 6 apg, dominating the court on offense and defence when he plays. Helping the Milwaukee Bucks to a 36-24 record in the Eastern Conference. Giannis will be looking to secure another MVP award as-well as his second NBA Championship.
2. Joel Embiid, (Philadelphia 76ers)
(Image by: AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Joel Embiid takes the two spot, in what is a close affair between the top three for this award. Currently averaging a double-double across the season with 29.6 ppg, 11.2 rpg and 4.5 apg, Embiid has had 10 games of 30 points or more and also showed out in the All-Star game, leading team Durant with points and rebounds. Currently third in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 35-23, the 76ers have recently acquired James Harden from the nets who will only boost the chances of Embiid winning this award.
1. Nikola Jokic, (Denver Nuggets)
Last years MVP winner, Nikola Jokic and January player of the month in the west, sits a top of the KIA MVP ladder. Jokic has contributed nine triple-doubles in the past 22 games for the Denver Nuggets and is the definition of consistency for this team. Averaging 26 ppg, 13.8 rpg and 7.9 apg, Jokic is arguably one of the best all round players in the NBA today and will take some beating in the race for this award. With the Denver Nuggets only sat sixth in the Western Conference, Jokic needs more help around him and support from players coming off the bench to win that coveted championship trophy.